(Service number 6/1254)

Aliases Tom
First Rank Private Last Rank Private


Date 22 November 1886 Place of Birth Londonderry, Ireland

Enlistment Information

Date 20 October 1914 Age 28 years
Address at Enlistment Canterbury, New Zealand
Occupation Farm labourer
Previous Military Experience
Marital Status Single
Next of Kin Miss Annie CAMPBELL, Willowbridge, South Canterbury
Religion Presbyterian
Medical Information Height 5 feet 6⅝ inches. Weight 121 lbs. Chest measurement 32-34 inches. Complexion fair. Eyes blue. Hair brown. Eyes both 6/6. Hearing good. Colour vision normal. Limbs and chest well formed. Full and perfect movement of all joints. Heart and lungs normal. False teeth. Free from hernia, varicocele, varicose veins, haemorrhoids, inveterate or contagious skin disease. Vaccinated. Good bodily and mental health. No slight defects.

Military Service

Served with NZ Armed Forces Served in Army
Military District

Embarkation Information

Body on Embarkation 2nd Reinforcements
Unit, Squadron, or Ship Canterbury Infantry Battalion
Date 14 December 1914
Transport Verdala or Willochra or Knight of the Garter
Embarked From Wellington, NZ Destination Suez, Egypt
Other Units Served With
Last Unit Served With Canterbury Regiment

Military Awards

Campaigns Egyptian; Balkans (Gallipoli)
Service Medals 1914-15 Star; British War Medal; Victory Medal
Military Awards

Award Circumstances and Date

No information

Prisoner of War Information

Date of Capture
Where Captured and by Whom
Actions Prior to Capture
PoW Serial Number
PoW Camps
Days Interned
Liberation Date


Date 2 March 1916 Reason

Hospitals, Wounds, Diseases and Illnesses

Wounded in the hip/thigh (bullet) at the Dardanelles on 30 April 1915 and admitted to hospital at Alexandria. After rejoining his unit at the Dardanelles, he was sent to hospital on 8 July 1915. He again rejoined his unit at the Dardanelles. On 14 August 1915 he was wounded in the foot. Cable on 16 August 1915 - Hospital Ship Delta - wounded in foot a second time. 29 September 1915 invalided to New Zealand.

Post-war Occupations

Labourer; gardener


Date 23 February 1935 Age 48 years
Place of Death Waipukurau
Cause Sickness - pernicious anaemia
Memorial or Cemetery Waipukurau Cemetery
Memorial Reference Soldiers plot 42
New Zealand Memorials

Biographical Notes

Thomas Campbell, familiarly known as Tom, was born on 22 November 1886 (he recorded) in Londonderry, Northern Ireland, the son of Robert and Margaret (née Burnside) Campbell. He was actually born about 1889/1890. By 1915, Thomas, his brothers William John (Jack) and David, and his sisters Mary Ann (Annie) and Matilda Margaret (Tilly) had all settled at Willowbridge near Waimate. In 1901 they had been all at home at Fincairn, Londonderry with their widowed father and other siblings. While William John and David had left before 1911, Thomas (21 years old), Annie and Tilda were still at home at Fincairn. In 1913 Tom was resident at Willowbridge.

Thomas was a brother of David Campbell (7/26) who also enlisted, and of Jack who was listed on the Reserve Rolls before enlisting in 1917 and serving in New Zealand.

In late September 1913, Tom met with a night-time accident. He had been to church at Hannaton and was riding home on a push bicycle without a light, when he collided with a horse ridden by a young lady. He was picked up insensible and taken to his brother William's residence. The next morning he was taken to a private hospital in Waimate, where he was reported to be getting on very well, after having had slight concussion of the brain.

He was among the earliest volunteers for World War One. He enlisted on 20 October 1914 at Timaru, after having passed the medical inspection, ready to leave for the concentration camp at Trentham in early October 1914, with the Second South Canterbury Contingent, and was then selected to go to the front. At this time he was employed as a farm labourer for the Canterbury Farmers Co-op at Waihao Downs.

Embarking with the Canterbury Infantry Battalion on 14 December 1914 from Wellington, he reached Egypt on 29 January 1915. From there he joined the Gallipoli campaign. Thomas was wounded in the hip by a bullet at the Dardanelles on 30 April 1915 and admitted to hospital at Alexandria. From there he was discharged to the convalescent camp at Alexandria. After rejoining his unit at the Dardanelles, he was sent to hospital on 8 July 1915. He again rejoined his unit at the Dardanelles. When he was wounded in the foot for a second time on 14 August 1915, a cable of 16 August 1915 advised that he was in the Hospital Ship “Delta”. Thomas was invalided to New Zealand per the "Willochra" on 25 September 1915 and he was discharged “unfit” on 2 March 1916.

After his return to New Zealand Thomas was located at various addresses, although he still appeared at Willowbridge in the 1928 electoral roll. On his discharge his intended address was Willowbridge. It appears that he was quite severely hampered by the injuries suffered at the Dardanelles. Although the wound in his right foot healed, a wound which was caused when he was shot, the disability to his foot persisted. The proceedings of a Medical Board, on 29 February 1916, concluded that he had a weak ankle and could not walk; the original disability was gunshot wound to the right thigh (25 August 1915) and bayonet wound to the right ankle (26 August 1915); progress was only fair; and the disability was permanent; the disability resulted from military duties over 13-14 weeks in Gallipoli.

Thomas got off the troop-train at 7 o’clock in the evening of 31 October 1915 at Studholme Junction, where he and two Waimate men were greeted by a crowd of several hundreds. They were given a hearty reception and cheered lustily. From there he went to his cousin’s place at Willowbridge. He was one of nine men welcomed home at a most enthusiastic social held in the Hannaton Hall (Nukuroa Coronation Hall) in early November 1915. Led by pipers J. Borthwick (his future brother-in-law) and J. Reynolds, the soldiers were carried shoulder high right up to the stage where they were lined up at the front. The choir and the audience sang the National Anthem, “Rule Britannia”, “Sons of the Sea”, “Tipperary”, and “For They are Jolly Good Fellows”. Following several rounds of “hearty British cheers” they were conducted to reserved seats at the front of the hall and enjoyed a concert programme consisting of a pianoforte solo, songs and an amusing dialogue. The chairman made touching reference to the sinking of the Marquette in which several brave nurses with local associations were lost. Thomas’s brother William was one to speak in eloquent terms of the brave deeds of the New Zealanders. After the singing again of the National Anthem, a splendid supper was served.

In late May 1919 when the Studholme and Willowbridge Soldiers’ Social Committee held a most successful social in the Hannaton Hall, to extend “a right royal welcome” to fourteen returned soldiers, among them Thomas’s brother, John Campbell, the chairman announced his plans to have medals presented to the returned men. In January 1920 men from the Studholme and Willowbridge districts who had gone to the front were recognised by residents in a fitting manner. Each man was presented with a neatly-designed gold medal. Each medal was suitably inscribed, and on the face were a crown, crossed rifles and a representation of a battlefield (an aeroplane, a heavy gun and a tank).

At his death Thomas was a gardener residing at Wimbledon in the Waipukurau district. He died on 23 February 1935, of pernicious anaemia, and is buried in a soldier’s plot in the Waipukerau Cemetery. He was awarded the 1914-15 Star, the British War Medal and the Victory Medal, which were returned and then reissued. As Thomas died intestate, the Public Trustee administered his estate – his short working life bringing in the princely sum of £12.10s., derived from his savings account, wages, and jewellery and effects.

His next-of-kin on enlistment was his sister Ann Campbell who married Samuel Hunter Miller in 1915. Her son Robert John Miller was noted as a nephew of Thomas in 1974 (as next-of-kin in an erroneous death notification). Another son Joseph Holmes Miller was dux of Waimate High School, was prominent in Antarctic affairs, served in World War Two, and earned the OBE. His brother-in-law, John Borthwick, husband of his sister Matilda Campbell, also served in World War One.


Auckland War Memorial Museum Cenotaph Database [12 July 2014]; N Z Defence Force Personnel Records (Archives NZ Ref. AABK 18805 W5530 0022473) [13 July 2014]; NZ Electoral Rolls ( [12 July 2014]; NZ Notices of Deceased Estates ( [16 July 2014]; NZ BDM Indexes (Department of Internal Affairs) [16 July 2014]; Waipukurau Cemetery headstone image & burial record (Central Hawke's Bay District Council, & South Canterbury Branch NZSG Cemetery Records microfcihes) [15 July 2014]; 1901 & 1911 censuses Ireland ( [26 October 2014]; Waimate Advertiser, 1 October 1913, 4 May 1915, 18 & 20 August 1915, 30 October 1915, 1, 4 & 6 November 1915, Timaru Herald, 2 October 1913, 6 October 1914, 20 October 1914, 7 June 1915, 30 October 1915, 9 November 1915, Dominion, 5 May 1915, Evening Post, 17 August 1915, Otago Daily Times, 18 August 1915, Star, 30 October 1915, Sun, 30 October 1915, Oamaru Mail, 8 January 1920 (Papers Past) [15 July 2014; 13 October 2014; 03, 05 & 07 July 2015; 28 & 30 June 2016; 01 July 2016]; Wallace Family Tree ( - joewallace222) [19 August 2014]; Joseph Holmes Miller – Biography (Te Ara Encyclopedia of New Zealand) [16 July 2014]; Probate record (Archives NZ/FamilySearch) [28 June 2016]

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Researched and Written by

Teresa Scott, SC branch, NZSG

Currently Assigned to


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